Preparations before death

Health care directives and powers of attorney

The patient should speak to their physician about the type of death that they want and the care that they would like to receive at the end of life.

It is good to put their wishes into writing to guide their loved ones and the care team in making decisions.

Three forms can help the patient clearly express their wishes (see Appendices B, C and D):


Funeral arrangements

Funeral arrangements involve various choices:

  • Funeral home (contract for funeral arrangements and associated costs);
  • Casket or urn;
  • Burial plot with gravestone or location where urn will be placed;
  • Type of ceremony;
  • Logistics of the ceremony (location, guest list, flowers, food, death notice, etc.);
  • Suggestions of organizations (donations in memory of the deceased), registry kept for thanking people.


Financial support

Potential financial assistance

  • Compassionate care benefits from Employment Insurance (1 800 808 6352 or
  • Private insurance
  • Life insurance policies
  • Canadian Cancer Society (1 888 939 3333)
  • Canada Revenue Agency (1 800 267 6999)
  • Survivor’s benefits, Death Benefit and Allowance for the Survivor (1 800 277 9915 or
  • Veterans Affairs (1 866 522 2022)
  • Funeral Benefit from Social Development (1 833 733 7835)